Battling the Wintertime Blues
Are the wintertime blues destroying your bliss?
It’s no wonder, with storm systems dumping record-breaking temperatures and snow this year and surges of cold arctic air in most of the country. And the latest weather reports are not offering much hope for a change anytime soon.
Don’t hate me, I live in the California desert where it is currently in the 80’s, but my heart goes out to you in the rest of the country suffering from the extreme weather. So, in honor of all of you in the Midwest and Eastern states buried in snow, I’m re-publishing information from a previous blog I wrote with some simple but effective tips to help you stay cheerful through this rough weather.
The “winter blues” are characterized by mild depression and low energy that can affect everyone during cold and dark days. Some people suffer from SAD, Seasonal Affective Disorder, which medical experts have officially recognized as a medical condition. Symptoms of SAD include depression, low energy, lack of motivation and less productivity, headaches, inability to sleep or an increase in the amount of time spent sleeping, lack of concentration, and decreased interest in activities that usually bring pleasure. In extreme cases, you may need medical attention.
However, the good news is, in most cases, you don’t need to suffer any longer with a few lifestyle changes. Here are a few tips to help you endure these brutal winter days:
- Be sure and get some exercise. You’ll feel healthier and produce some of those “feel good” chemicals that improve your mood.
- Spend time with supportive and loving people.
- If it’s safe, get more light by walking outside on a bright winter day. If conditions are too dangerous, try to bring as much light into the home by keeping drapes and blinds wide open. Sit close to windows.
- Eat healthy and try to reduce stress levels. These are things you should be doing anyway, but are particularly important if you’re suffering from SAD.
- Use light therapy with a specialized light box for 30 minutes a day. Make sure the box has more than 10,000 lux, which is more than 20 times stronger than the average light bulb. Some insurance companies cover the cost if patients are using the light under a physician’s supervision.
- This is a no-brainer, but if you can afford to do so or you’re planning a vacation, visit a tropical destination. Or you can join the crowds of people we have visiting here in the Palm Springs area for a much needed break from the weather.
So my thoughts are with you. Follow these tips and don’t despair. Spring is right around the corner!
Images courtesy of dan and imagerymajestic at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.